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The Victorian gold rush of the mid 1800's rapidly established Melbourne as one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Visitors have been drawn here ever since, but you don't have to spend a fortune exploring what it has on offer. Many of the heritage listed buildings are free to visit as are the extensive parks which circle the main city grid. The Yarra River cuts a swathe through the business district and a comprehensive tram network links the city with outlying attractions such as St Kilda Beach.

Good for
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveler
  • Like a Local

15 Places

4 City Tips

Print
Map

15 Places

I'm Free Walking Tours

Walking Tours

City Circle Tram

Tramways

Federation Square

Specialty Museums

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Gardens, Parks

St. Kilda Beach

Beaches

Parliament House of Victoria

Government Buildings, Historic Sites

Melbourne Town Hall

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings

Queen Victoria Market

Flea & Street Markets

Shrine of Remembrance

History Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Military Museums, Historic Sites

Hosier Lane

Points of Interest & Landmarks

State Library of Victoria

Libraries

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Specialty Museums

Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Movie Theaters, Art Museums

St Michael's Church

Churches & Cathedrals

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Hotels

Jolyon67's City Tips

  • All tram travel within the city grid is free. Look for the Free Tram Zone signs which show the boundary between free and paid zones.
  • Prepare for 'four seasons in one day'. Extremely hot Summer days often end with plummeting temperatures and a sudden downpour by late afternoon.
  • The Australian sun is more fierce than in other parts of the world. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses and wear a hat.
  • Public transport outside the centre requires a Myki card, available at railway stations and 7/11 outlets for $6. Top it up with credit, roughly $7 per day.
  • Save
    I'm Free Walking Tours
    Walking Tours
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    A comprehensive introduction to the city and excellent value for money. Walks last 3 hours and include a short lunch and toilet stop. Tours are free but donations are appreciated. They depart daily at 10.30am & 2.30pm from the statue in front of the State Library. Just look for the guide in a green t-shirt. You cover a large portion of the city centre, passing many notable attractions along the way. The informative commentary explains how the city was established and charts it's development from the gold rush boom to the present day.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Prepare for Melbourne's unpredictable weather and bring water, sunscreen and umbrella.
    • The fast pace tour involves a lot of walking and may not be appropriate for people with mobility issues.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 241 Tours in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting tour through Melbourne 03/26/2017
    • Interesting introduction to Melbourne 03/26/2017
    • I'm Free Walking Tours
    Address:
    328 Swanston St
    Meet infront of State Library of Victoria
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 405 515 654
    Other:
  • Save
    City Circle Tram
    Tramways
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    The vintage 'hop on hop off' tram is an ideal way of getting around central Melbourne. No ticket is needed on this convenient link between many of the cities major attractions. A taped commentary announces nearby sights as you approach each stop. The route circles the main city centre grid with an extension to Waterfront City in Docklands.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Trams run in both directions approximately 12 minutes apart. A full circuit takes 1 hour.
    • Leaflets on board include the Melbourne Visitor Guide which has a selection of money off vouchers in the central pages.
    • Trams operate 10am daily until 6pm Sun-Wed, 9pm Thu-Sat.
    • The official route number is 35, unlike regular trams it doesn't appear on the digital displays at tram stops.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great way to get around the city 03/28/2017
    • Highly recommended 03/27/2017
    • City Circle Tram
    Phone:
    +61 1800 800 007
    Other:
  • Save
    Federation Square
    Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    Federation Square is Melbourne's main public open space. The central plaza is surrounded by a striking architectural ensemble that houses museums, galleries and restaurants. Regular festivals and cultural events draw large crowds, who gather around the main stage and large TV screen. The Visitor Centre provides a wealth of tourist information to help you make the most of your stay.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Free Tai Chi, fitness and dance classes are held on selected days each month.
    • Free tours of the square depart the Visitor Centre daily at 11am except Sunday.
    • Wave to your friends around the world via the Federation Square Webcam.
    • Check the 'What's on' display board in the Atrium, for events on the day of your visit.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Life of Melbourne 03/27/2017
    • Great Place to Start Seeing Melbourne 03/26/2017
    • Federation Square
    Address:
    Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 9655 1900
    Other:
  • Save
    Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
    Gardens, Parks
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    The immaculately maintained Botanical Gardens occupy an area of 38 hectares just south of the Yarra River. Plant beds are grouped into examples of flora representing every climatic condition found around Australia and beyond. They are spread across rolling lawns which gently slope towards an ornamental lake. It is a peaceful inner-city oasis, open from 7.30am to dusk the year round.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Join a free discovery walk, daily at 10.30am & 2pm.
    • From December to March the moonlight cinema shows cult classics in the gardens, weather permitting. Bring a blanket, it can get cold.
    • The main entrance and visitor centre is close to the Shrine of Remembrance on St Kilda Road. Any tram heading to the Domain will get you here.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A nice place for a walk 03/28/2017
    • Beautiful! 03/28/2017
    • Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
    Address:
    Birdwood Ave
    South Yarra
    Melbourne, Victoria 3141
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 9252 2300
    Other:
  • Save
    St. Kilda Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    St Kilda is Melbourne's most popular and accessible seaside suburb. During the Summer months you will be sharing the foreshore with joggers and roller bladers. Palm trees add a tropical feel to the esplanade which has attracted pleasure seekers for years. Luna Park opened in 1912 and features one of the world's oldest roller coasters. St Kilda Pier extends out into Port Phillip Bay, with a restaurant at the end, and a rocky breakwater, home to a colony of fairy penguins.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Tram 96 travels between Bourke Street and St Kilda Beach.
    • Entry to Luna Park is free, single ride tickets are about $9.
    • A boardwalk runs along St Kilda Pier breakwater. Sunset is the best time to look for penguins hidden amongst the rocks.
    • Every Sunday a vibrant craft market is set up along the esplanade.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 36 things to do in St Kilda
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Your average city beach 03/27/2017
    • Pretty as But Parking Hard 03/26/2017
    • St. Kilda Beach
    Address:
    Jacka Boulevard
    West St Kilda
    St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182
    Australia
  • Save
    Parliament House of Victoria
    Government Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    A grand Victorian building in a commanding location at the 'top end' of the city. It houses two stately chambers, the legislative council and legislative assembly. Free tours are available as are the public galleries when parliament is sitting. There is airport style security and bags need to be checked into a locker before each tour.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Free tours are available hourly on weekdays when parliament isn't sitting.
    • Tours of the gardens are available once a month.
    • Days when parliament is sitting are listed on the official website.
    • A replica of 'The Welcome Stranger' the worlds largest gold nugget is on display just outside the library.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #66 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hugely Entertaining! 03/27/2017
    • Go on an Open House Day 03/22/2017
    • Parliament House of Victoria
    Address:
    Spring Street
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 9651 8911
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:30 am - 5:30 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Melbourne Town Hall
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    Free tours of Melbourne's Town Hall are available weekdays from 11-2pm. The main auditorium seats upto 2000 people and regularly hosts concerts, exhibitions and fashion shows. Tours take you behind the scenes of this 19th century building, to finely carved council chambers and the Mayor's office. You can also stand on the balcony where the Beatles & Abba waved to adoring crowds below.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Register for tours through the glass doors to the left of the main entrance.
    • Animated projections illuminate the Town Hall façade during the build up to Christmas.
    • Discount theatre tickets can be purchased at Half-tix located in the Town Hall.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #61 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning all year round 03/22/2017
    • A hidden gem in the middle of Melbourne. 03/22/2017
    • Melbourne Town Hall
    Address:
    Corner Swanston Street and Collins Street
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 9658 9658
    Other:
  • Save
    Queen Victoria Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    Australia's largest open air market has been serving speciality foods and goods since 1878. Wandering the stalls you appreciate Melbourne's rich cultural diversity with delicacies from the four corners of the globe to tempt your palette. Emerging local artists are also well represented with a host of unique craft stalls.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • The car park was built over Melbourne's first graveyard and is said to be haunted.
    • A popular activity during Summer is the Night Market, open until 10pm every Wednesday, complete with live music and other entertainment.
    • Trams 19, 57 or 59 run from Elizabeth St to the Market, alternatively it is a short walk from Flagstaff train station (closed weekends).
    • The market is open daily from 6am except Monday & Wednesday.
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hunting for bargain souveniors 03/28/2017
    • Different! 03/26/2017
    • Queen Victoria Market
    Address:
    Corner Elizabeth and Victoria Streets
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 9320 5822
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Tue
    6:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Thu
    6:00 am - 2:00 pm
    Fri
    6:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Sat
    6:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Shrine of Remembrance
    History Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Military Museums, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    Modelled on a Greek temple, the Shrine of Remembrance is aligned with the main axis through the city centre. It is a twenty minute walk south of the Yarra River and marks the focal point of Melbourne's Anzac Day commemorations every April 25th. An eternal flame burns in the forecourt beside a cenotaph. The visitor centre at the base of the building leads to an impressive museum that charts Australia's role in the two world wars and more recent conflicts.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The balcony provides a spectacular view over Melbourne. The nearby Botanical Gardens, Albert Park lake and St Kilda are all clearly visible.
    • On extremely hot summer days, the crypt and sanctuary provide welcome relief from the heat.
    • Every half hour a ray of light passes across the stone of remembrance in the main sanctuary.
    • Free tours are available at 11am & 2pm daily.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very worthy of a visit 03/28/2017
    • interesting 03/28/2017
    • Shrine of Remembrance
    Address:
    St. Kilda Road
    Melbourne, Victoria 3001
    Australia
    Phone:
    0396618100
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Hosier Lane
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    The narrow laneways of the city have become a showcase for some of the world's finest street art. A thriving local art scene, plus visiting international artists have helped raise Melbourne's profile to a level equal to that of New York or Berlin. Creativity reaches it's peak in Hosier Lane, with every inch of space covered in riot of colour. It can be found off Flinders Lane just opposite Federation Square.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visit on a sunny day when the colours are at their most vibrant.
    • Be prepared for the overpowering smell of aerosol paint. Artists may be working as you visit.
    • There are a few Banksy rats visible in nearby Duckboard Place & ACDC Lane.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Must see!! 03/27/2017
    • Amazing Street Art 03/27/2017
    • Hosier Lane
    Address:
    Hosier Ln
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Australia
    Other:
  • Save
    State Library of Victoria
    Libraries
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    The La Trobe reading room in the State Library is one of Melbourne's architectural treasures. The cavernous octagonal room is six storeys high, capped by what was once the world's largest dome. Circling the dome is a free exhibition that displays the history of the State of Victoria. The most prized exhibit is the iron armour worn by Australia's most notorious criminal, the bush ranger Ned Kelly.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The library is open 10am-9pm Mon-Thur, 6pm Fri-Sun. Exhibitions close at 5pm.
    • A free Ned Kelly tour departs from the foyer every Wednesday at 1pm.
    • The main exhibition area 'The Changing Face of Victoria' is on the 5th floor.
    • There are daily tours of the dome from 2-3pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Like in a dream 03/26/2017
    • Highly surprised 03/24/2017
    • State Library of Victoria
    Address:
    328 Swanston Street
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 8664 7000
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Fri - Sun
    10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
    Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    The National Gallery of Victoria has two branches, one either side of the Yarra River. The Ian Potter Centre is dedicated exclusively to Australian art and features work from the early settlers though to more contemporary works. It includes an outstanding collection of Aboriginal art in the Indigenous gallery on level 3.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Entry is free but some temporary exhibitions charge a fee.
    • The gallery is open daily 10-5pm except Mondays.
    • Photography is allowed in the Indigenous gallery but it is best to ask permission first in other areas.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Always worth a visit 03/27/2017
    • Excellent free Gallery with thought provoking and interesting work 03/25/2017
    • The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
    Address:
    Federation Square
    Cnr Russell & Flinders Streets
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 8620 2222
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Australian Centre for the Moving Image
    Movie Theaters, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    ACMI is a dynamic centre celebrating all aspects of the moving image. Its multiple venues are spread over 4 floors in Federation Square. Two cinema screens form the centrepiece to the complex, hosting film festivals and talks throughout the year. Mediatheque allows the general public to view hours of footage from the museum's archives in private viewing booths. Screen Worlds is a permanent exhibition with plenty of interactive displays to keep visitors entertained for hours. Workshops in many aspects of film production are also available by prior booking.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • LGBT
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Capture yourself in a Matrix style 360° movie in Screen Worlds - daily 10-5pm, free.
    • Search for your favourite film or TV moments in the archives of Australian Mediatheque - daily 12-5pm, free.
    • Check the TV screen at reception lists the day's activities & screenings.
    • This is the perfect place for free entertainment if you find yourself with a spare half an hour or while a rain shower passes.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 71 Fun & Games in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • AMAZING 03/19/2017
    • Very well curated interactive space 03/16/2017
    • Australian Centre for the Moving Image
    Address:
    Flinders Street
    Federation Square
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 8663 2583
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    St Michael's Church
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    The small St Michael's Uniting Church on Collins Street resembles a theatre more than a church. The seats are arranged in a semi-circle around the main altar, while at the rear stands a magnificent organ. The space comes to life every Thursday lunchtime with a free organ recital, allowing you to fully appreciate the wonderful acoustics of this sacred space. Function rooms attached to the church host a series of free workshops each month. Subjects include poetry, philosophy and French conversation classes.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Senior
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Free organ recitals occur every Thursday 1-1.30pm, no need to book.
    • A door around the corner on Russell Street leads to the Mingary, a quiet space for meditation.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #115 of 377 things to do in Melbourne
    • Guided tour 03/10/2017
    • Organ Recital - free Thursday Lunchtime (not on Australia Day) 01/19/2017
    • St Michael's Church
    Address:
    120 Collins St
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    +61 3 9654 5120
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
    Hotels
    See more photos
    Jolyon67 Says:

    For the best free view of the city, head to the 'loo with a view' on the 35th floor of the Sofitel. The floor to ceiling windows in the toilets provide a magnificent view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra River and the distant Dandenong Ranges on the horizon. You may have to splash out on a drink in the atrium bar if you aren't actually staying at the hotel.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Time your visit for sunset to witness the lights of the evening rush hour spring to life.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 158 Hotels in Melbourne
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not as good as normal... 03/28/2017
    • Sofitel Luxury 03/27/2017
    • Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
    Address:
    25 Collins Street
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia
    Phone:
    011 61 3 9007 0584
    Other:
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